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Cradle Catholic with a lot of questions; such as, why am I just figuring this stuff out now?

January 1, 2011

How to Perform an Emergency Baptism

Although it is typical, and preferred, for a priest or deacon to perform a baptism ceremony at a church in front of family and friends, anyone can perform an emergency baptism.  Example of emergency situations could include a serious car accident or sudden illness where a clergy member is not present.   Tradition in the Catholic faith has taught that babies that die prior to being baptized are sent to limbo rather than heaven. It is not required that the person performing the baptism be baptized or even Catholic.  The way in which people are baptized differs little from one Christian religion to another.  The Catholic Church recognizes all denominations of Christian baptisms, however, in case you even are in the position where you need to perform an emergency baptism, here are the typical elements you should keep in mind:
  1. Make the sign of the cross.
  2. Pour water over the child’s head while saying the following “(Child’s name), I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew 28:19).  The water should be poured in three distinct intervals – hitting the child’s head when you say the words Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  It’s important to quote Matthew word for word – this is a requirement set forth in the Didache, a manual of church discipline that has been used by Christians beginning in the first or second centuries.
  3. If possible, place a small amount of perfumed oil on the child’s forehead as a symbol of the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment.
  4. That’s about it.  The most important elements are water, the quote from Matthew, and an earnest desire to perform a valid baptism.  If you have these three things you can perform an acceptable baptism in an emergency situation.
References: Understanding Catholicism by Bob O'Gorman and Mary Faulkner

7 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Sorry, disregard the credentials. This is a personal post. Thank you, Christine. Every Catholic should know this (for the benefit of all people), especially in inter-faith families where the religious upbringing of the children is a delicate issue -- worried parents should know that they can do this should the issue not be settled when an emergency arises

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  4. The bible tells us there is only one faith one Lord one baptisim and that is in the NAME OF JESUS Acts 2:38 matt 2:28 tells us the title of his name FATHER IS A TITLE SON IS A TITLE HOLY GHOST IS A TITLE YOUR FATHER HAS A NAME HIS SON HAS A NAME HOLY GHOST IS JESUS HIMSELF IN THE SPIRIT JESUS SAID WHEN HE GO AWAY HE WILL SEND ONOTHER COMFORTER IN HIS NAME. HE ALSO SAYS HE INERIT HIS NAME FROM HIS FATHER. TO BAPTISE YOU HAVE TO EMERSE INTO WATER NOT SPRINKLE BABY DONT HAVE TO BECAUSE THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND AT THAT AGE. AND IF A BABY DIES BEFORE THEY GROW UP THERE SOUL IS SAFE WITH JESUS TRY READ THE BIBLE AND ASK GOD TO LEAD YOU INTO ALL TRUTH WHEN YOU PRAY FINISH YOUR PRAYER BY SAYING IN THE NAME OF JESUS IT IS WRITTEN IN THE BIBLE FOR THERE IS ONLY ONE MAME GIVEN AMONG MEN WHERE WE CAN BE SAVE GOD BLESS YOU.

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